Water softener service is normally recommended annually to ensure proper operation and to maximize the useful life of your equipment and provide consistent softened or conditioned water to your home. It is possible to have interim operational problems (identified later in this report) which can be diagnosed and remedied by the homeowner. For complicated problems, contacting your water treatment service technician for water softener service is your best option. There are many types of water filtration and water softening systems. The balance of this write-up will focus on water softeners and reverse osmosis systems.
IF WATER SOFTENER IS NOT WORKING
Check to see if the water softener is “on” and working, that is, that the system has power, then:
- Check salt tank: Is there salt in the brine tank? If not, add at least a few bags salt to the tank.
- Check power to the softener: If the unit uses electricity to run a timer, be sure it’s plugged in to a live outlet and has power. Some water conditioners use a low-voltage transformer to power the control – be sure that device is present, plugged in, and working. Also, a power failure could cause the timer to be improperly set. Re-set the day of week and time of day on the water softener timer after an electrical power failure or after the softener has been powered “off” for a time.
- Check the water softener bypass valve: You want first to see that the water softener is not on “bypass” – is household water flowing through the unit? This valve is an option and may not be installed on your unit, but there may be standard plumbing valves or globe valves that accomplish the same purpose.
- Manually regeneration cycle: Then try a manual regeneration cycle – you’ll see on most units a lever you can push on the control box to start that regeneration process. Note: your home will not be delivered conditioned or softened water while the water softener is in the regeneration cycle, therefore, its best not to use water (or use as little as possible- flushing toilets is OK, etc.) in the home until the regeneration process is complete. This is why most programmed regeneration is set for late at night when water usage is much less likely.
- Feel & test the water supply: if you can’t get a lather when bathing the system may not be sufficiently treating the water.
OTHER WATER SOFTENER SERVICE & REPAIR SYMPTOMS
Without fully diagnosing, it can be very difficult to determine what is really causing the problem and whether or not water softener service is even necessary. This is where a service technician will be able to trouble shoot the situation and come to a determination and solution to the problem. While there are so many possible symptoms and problems a softener may experience, the following are a few that you may see.
- Excessive salt usage by the system is requiring higher than normal salt tank fill ups
- Stains on home fixtures even though the water softener seems to be running properly
- Mineral discharging from the water softener and into the home’s water supply
- Loss of water pressure in the home’s distribution system downstream from the softener
- Hard water evidence observed right after a regeneration cycle.
REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER FILTRATION SERVICE
Water filtration service for a reverse osmosis system typically consists of:
- Testing the incoming water quality with a device called a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter, which measure conductivity in the water, or, how much “stuff” or dissolved minerals or other things in the water. The water is then tested after it has gone through the reverse osmosis (RO) system to determine that the RO membrane is still working effectively in rejecting dissolved solids.
- Pre-filters, sediment and carbon are changed out.
- Storage tank pressure is tested and re-pressurized if water pressure is inadequate.
- All lines, filter housings and storage tank are sanitized and flushed down.
- All connections and fittings are inspected.